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PJ WILDERNESS: 2nd STEP – ASK FOR TIME OFF

Welcome back to the PJ Wilderness!  So now you’ve picked a destination but aren’t sure if you have the time.  Why is it we slave away being everything to everyone, meeting every deadline, closing deals, racking up vacation time, yet when it comes time to use it we feel guilty!?! Yet, how crazy do we feel when Monday rolls around, as always, and we haven’t found Me time?  These tips will help you find time to wander off through the PJ Wilderness whether you have vacation time to burn or not.

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WTF: Wanted – Time Found

Give yourself time off:
You must give yourself permission to pay attention to you – it’s not selfish!  Your inbox will constantly overflow and your house will continually get messy (rapidly, if you have a family or roommates). Whether you feel the stress creeping up on you, or you have hit the wall and need to change now, you deserve to be a priority in your life.

How Much Time?
Start small: I am re-reading “Don’t sweat the Small Stuff” in my restroom.  It’s a small book broken down into even smaller chapters of 1-3 pages so I go in to brush my teeth and promise myself I won’t leave until I’ve absorbed another lesson.  It takes me off of auto-pilot and brings me to the present and I’ll chip away at the book (and it keeps me from rushing through my dental hygiene)!

…or leap! Following my divorce, I forced myself into a large goal and recurring commitment to train a few hours a week for a marathon.  Also, because it was for charity – it got me around feeling guilty about taking the time for myself.

Be flexible: You may not have the luxury of months off like Elizabeth Gilbert did. Bill Bryson didn’t make the journey in one large chunk of time, he took breaks.  Stay flexible like Cheryl Strayed did, whether you encounter spots that are tough to navigate through, or unexpected things pop up that require you to detour.

Where to find time: The trick here is allowing yourself time to play, or be still, or scream, but then draw a hard line!  Knowing you’ll have the opportunity again later should make it easier to set boundaries. When things ooze past the boundaries, we start to feel yucky.

  • Hit snooze 1 less time (10 min) to meditate or pray
  • Hit snooze 2 less times (20 min) for yoga/stretches
  • Occasionally while eating (20 min) bring the company of a good book over people
  • Make lists (varies): Overall you’ll spend less time looking for things or  recall what you were doing
  • Leave the phone home: Instead of checking texts, emails or social media, consider closing your eyes and listening, feeling, or with eyes and minds open, chat with someone close in proximity or people watch. Let your mind wander after each sense.
  • Allow time for distractions: To make it easier to be able to shut down the static we live in give yourself 10 min. to read the headlines, check on the latest celebrity gossip, or your friends’ amazing adventures. Then draw the line and move on.
  • Take a long cut: Take a different route to work, or home, or explore the neighborhood you find yourself in while running errands.  You may find some new cafe, some old bookstore, or a sparkly bit of inspiration!
  • Stay in a hotel (Min. 1 night): Rather than catering to everyone, be catered to. Stay in, order room service, hog the bed and remote, and indulge in comfort items such as lavender plants, potpourri, or favorite lotions. Get out, people watch or introduce yourself to fascinating folks you find in the lobby bar! Significant others optional.

But it’s not “alone time”:  Until you learn to steal a few moments to yourself, learn how to check in with yourself at the drop of a hat.

  • At the stop lights (Varies) to stretch, take a few deep breaths, turn up the volume of your favorite song and sing along or feel the textured steering wheel to get present!
  • While at kids’ practices: (varies – 30 min to an hour) walk around where their practices are held, or sit with headphones in so you can unwind while flashing thumbs ups. 
  • Divide and conquer: While folding laundry, catch up on DVR’d shows. While the kids empty the dishwasher, I lay down for 10 min. When they’re making their beds, I step outside and tend to my plants outdoors.
  • Change it up! Grab friends or family and shock your routine to supercharge your creativity and increase your fun tolerance!  Movies on a school night, stick your toes in the ocean or in the grass, or get a mani/pedi – though I can do my own nails, I love going to the salon to catch up on my gossip magazines. Sometimes the secondary benefits are just as rewarding.

Simply put, when you decide to make something a priority, it will be. So put yourself at the top of your list.

Next time we’ll talk about mapping your destination!

What about you? Where do you steal a few moments for yourself?
Which do you find easier: Time Management or Time Travel?
When’s the last time you did something just for you?
Have you read any of the above “Find yourself in the wilderness” books?

 

#EatPrayLove #Gilbert #Bryson #AWalkInTheWoods #Strayed #Wild #Time #MeTime #PersonalTime #AloneTime #Down Time #MentalBreak #NaBloPoMo

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SON KEPT LOSING THINGS SO MOMMY LOST IT

My son lost or forgot things 5 out of 7 days in the past weeks. My son is smart, too! I forgave him at first diagnosing him with “absent-minded professor” syndrome that can’t fit mundane tasks in the idea-filled brain.  I instilled mindless habits like a “Boy Scout drawer” or “Putting cleats in your bag first thing.” My reminders fall on deaf ears. I must speak an undecipherable English dialect: Momglish.

My daughter – whose hazardly messy room frightens me – meticulously makes a “flat person” accounting for all uniform components.  My son – a neat freak – tosses stuff in his bag haphazardly.  I open my mouth but my Dad’s voice asks, “What are you forgetting?”

I know it’s dark, keep looking!

My son and I aren’t compatible searchers.  He doesn’t find things even after I suggest places. He debates he’s looked and keeps roaming, or hides in the Panic Room. Then, I go directly to where I suggested and find the item within 5 seconds.

This week we’ve been on a tight schedule with school testing. Today he wasted 20 minutes searching for one cleat when he should’ve been fueling his brain. I suggested twice that he return to where he found the first cleat. So when I got there, moved one pillow and found it, I lost it.

LOST IT!

I’m sure my neighbors heard the booming announcement when I found it.  My son advanced in disbelief and I hurled it. I have great aim and could hit him if I wanted to. I just wanted to snap sense into him. I hoped the sound of a shoe whizzing by his knees then hitting the wall might  make them quiver some.

Ironically, a friend’s stressed out Facebok status got me breathing again.  Newly relaxed, I announced we would learn and change. We all did 2 deep cleansing breaths and shook the morning off. We departed feeling happy for humpday.

Driving home this afternoon with renewed optimism, my son calls, “Mom, something horrible happened.”  Knowing he carpooled to baseball I immediately rearranged the evening to visit the ER. “While I looked for my cleats today, my pants fell out of my bag.”  No, I knew within 5 seconds exactly where they were on the couch.

Shoot, they were there the whole time?!

OUT OF THE FRY BASKET AND INTO THE FRYER!

Ever since working 5 minutes in the pool snack bar 30 years ago, I couldn’t wait to do it again. With the heat turned up thanks to the increased responsibility of an oil fryer and nacho cheese, I was nervous that I’d wind up ruining someone’s mouthwatering vision for their fries or taco boat. As a group, we did great! I learned things I always wanted to know, and some I didn’t, but I’m not going to spill the flavorful mystique of the League Snack Bar.

Is this picture scratch-n-sniff? Oh, well I can still smell it...

We received a reprieve as the last game was cancelled. After a thorough cleanup, I took my mustard-smeared, fry-smelly self to find solace in the bookstore. Knowing the kids would be showered and ready for bed on-time, to correct for the last two nights pressing bedtime boundaries, helped restore me. Wandering, I quickly picked a book for my son and carefully found a book with no visible dresses or pink for my daughter.

Maybe the universe was telling me I don't need no more stinkin' books.

As I made it to Bestsellers, a text startled me, “Your son has a horror story to print out.” These words cause alarm because we don’t have a printer. We don’t have the surface or outlet space and rarely print, so we manage – if mentioned earlier in the evening. This time, it threatened the ideal bedtime.

I drove straight to Kinko’s texting the meeting place at each stoplight. No answer. I tried again, “Is there still typing to do?” No answer. I called, my heartbeat grew faster with every ring. Every minute counted and I didn’t want to waste any time. I felt momentarily relieved when they announced their departure.

With just enough time to get faster food than I’d wanted, I ate quickly anticipating a flurry of kids and printing! Still, nobody in sight! A rapid succession of texts delivered a punch “Lost his flash drive,” “Frantically searching.”

After giving up the search, I arrived home to find my son writing a new horror story about losing his flash drive, my daughter up past her bedtime, and me critiquing my fast food which pailed in comparison to the grilled burgers and seasoned crispy fries served at the snack bar.

Crispy with Seasoned Salt!

Share your time management horror stories!